Shut up and just squeeze on board, Jakarta commuters. The boss of the capital's KRL Commuterline has made his feelings known about the constant complaints towards the railway service, which they have worked really hard to develop and maintain, okay?
If you're lucky enough to not have to commute in Jakarta daily, you might not know that people have been expressing their exhaustion of having to regularly deal with crowd congestion, particularly at Manggarai Station.
One woman's social media post, in which she said she quit her job just to avoid Manggarai during rush hours and preserve her mental health, even went viral recently as other Jakarta commuters said they were able to relate with her struggles.
Manggarai has been regularly congested after it was made the central transit hub for KRL Commuterline trains last year. In addition to serving more train lines than ever before, there has been constant construction work and renovations to upgrade its facilities, which may go on until 2025.
Yesterday, PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) President Director Suryawan attended a casual discussion with reporters about Manggarai, during which he said he has been driven to exasperation by the public's criticism towards the KRL Commuterline.
"Imagine a husband and wife. I (as the husband) work hard day and night and that can be wrong in my wife's eyes. But if I don't come home, she wonders where I am," Suryawan said in an attempt to find a relatable analogy, which only ended up reeking of misogyny.
"That's what I feel. The KRL serves millions of people per day. The fares are low, right? So why are people constantly complaining? We have done a lot of work."
Actually, the KRL Commuterline served 215 million individual trips in 2022, which brings the daily average to 589 thousand.
Though that may be the highest figure since the onset of the pandemic, it, along with low fares, should not be an excuse for the chronic congestion at KRL stations.
The Ministry of Transportation, for one, is taking a different approach than Suryawan. This morning, it acknowledged that hasty planning led to a host of problems at Manggarai. The ministry has apologized for the inconvenience, and asked for patience until normal, uncongested service resumes at Manggarai when renovations are finished in 2025.